"It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength" Maya Angelou
Fashion Business Graduate currently seeking a career within promotional sectors, with a strong interest in marketing, public relations and social media. Throughout my final year at University my work has been heavily focused on topics surrounding inclusivity and diversity within the beauty and fashion industry. I have explored a range of subjects from Public Relations, to Branding and Marketing all of which are based upon commercial studies. Focus during my projects has been heavily set on analysis of consumer behaviour to ensure the development of innovative strategies. During my time at University I have recognised my ability to take Creative Direction and lead a team of Graphic Designers, Videographers, Photographers and Make-up Artists to work on large projects.
My dissertation asked the question “Is disability hidden in fashion?", I produced an independent and extensive investigation to discuss the representation of disability within the fashion industry to determine whether inclusivity is being achieved within the UK. Through research that heavily relied on primary sources I investigated multiple areas of the fashion industry and the relationship it has with a community that makes up a large percentage of the population, the size of this community correlates with the power of purple pound and the importance of engaging with a section society that can often be looked over. From marketing, to retail spaces, to adaptive clothing, case studies were made to gain an understanding of the positive impact that some businesses within these areas are having.
Although not based on beauty (although does have some references to the industry), my dissertation topic and personal motivations led me to develop my final major project. In the final part of my dissertation I discussed the ways in which perceptions of disability can be changed through forthcoming and entrepreneurial ideas and products, this led to some research into adaptive beauty products and there was very little in the current market. It seemed natural to then develop a line of beauty products with adaptations myself; the AVA line was then born. Benefit Cosmetics seemed a suitable company for me to produce the line within being the first company to use a disabled model in a beauty campaign, they would have the resources to produce and market such products to a large audience. A campaign was created surrounding the products that included promotional videos and marketing content for all social media;. The aim of the project was to empower disabled make-up lovers as well as raise awareness.
“Fashion is very important. It is life-enhansing and, like everything that gives pleasure, it is worth doing well” – Vivienne Westwood
Ethics + Aesthetics = Sustainable Fashion
I found my passion for the environment and fashion through the development of my dissertation and during a 12-month industry placement as an Assistant Product Developer for Associated Independent Stores. Being part of clothing production first-hand, as well as experiencing the supply chain down to Independent retailers really highlighted a need for sustainable actions in the fashion industry now. This led onto my dissertation study: The future of sustainable fashion. This was an investigation into how the fashion sector will use certain key drivers to develop into an environmentally sustainable industry, looking at independent brands and retailers’ impact, whilst following the millennial consumer.
The dissertation found the most vital recommendations for the future of fashion involved four key steps from initial design concept, through to manufacturing, in-store actions and consumer aftercare. The recommendations are; introducing a closed loop system; certification of sustainable businesses; further environmental research; and brand transparency.
My development through third year then lead me to creating my Final Major Project: Mardy Magazine. Mardy is a bi-monthly publication supporting local Birmingham communities, independent businesses and people through sustainability, style and creativity. The aim is to help readers make small, effortless actions on a local scale, to help towards a more sustainable future and better environmental consumer impact. Through the use of local collaboration, working closely with inspirational business, creatives and people in the Birmingham area, Mardy magazine is able to provide colourful, creative and stylish content as well as being ethical and sustainable. The magazine runs bi-monthly through a high-quality print publication, as well as through their online blog, supplying even more regular content and creativity. Social media, special projects, local events and Eco-friendly merchandise accompany the magazine providing further experience, interaction and content to the readers.
The course, Fashion, Business and Promotion, has given me widely transferable skills which can be applied across a number of sectors and industries. It has allowed me to bring my passions to light through my studies, applying my own personal outline and goals to each individual project. My goal is to make a real difference in industry, pursuing a sustainable and ethical practice in all of my work.
A graduate in BA (Hons) Fashion, Business and Promotion, aspiring for a role in Visual Merchandising. The aspiration stems from a passion to design and create new ideas to promote my freelance henna and makeup business. Creating a product stand, eye catching display and store layouts to engage customers to buy products through my experience in various sale sectors has allowed to further my knowledge and experience in perusing a career in visual merchandising as, I have had first-hand experience in Visual Merchandising in Selfridges, Huda beauty, Currys/PC World and Zara. This has led me to have excellent organisational skills, improved my time keeping and furthered my negotiation skills. I also have a creative flair and imagination which is a strong quality I possess as it allows me to complete tasks efficiently.
The dissertation titled, ‘How social influencers are helping to break the norms/stereotypes of modesty in the middle east and the implications for the future fashion industry.’ This explores how modesty is not just religious movement however, it is a trend practiced globally by non-Muslims too. A collaboration with a top modest fashion brand, Modanisa with high street brand Asos to create a sustainable, modest athleisure line.
Final Major project
Continuing from dissertation, my Final Major Project idea stems from the research carried out in my dissertation. Modsos, a line which incorporates modest clothing with athleisure while bringing sustainable lifestyle to the forefront. The Modanisa collaboration with Asos will also, offer organic clothing (GMO- free plants) as this is better for the environment and climate.
This shows 70% of e-commerce traffic occurring from smartphones many brands primary source of delivering services is online. Modsos is a modest athleisure line which is in collaboration with Modanisa and Asos. The athleisure line aimed at women is an innovation as it allows women to feel empowered, modest and comfortable. There is an ‘appetite for modest clothing, expected to be worth more than £294bn by 2022’ (Weinswig, 2017).
Being modest has moved on from being a religious attribute to being a movement and somewhat a fashion trend. One main purpose of this modest line is to bring awareness that modesty is not just a an Islamic attribute however, it is a modest movement practised by many across the globe.
Political Dressing: “Dress style that challenges — or is perceived as challenging, or offering an alternative to the status quo” (The Conversation, 2018).
Ba (hons) Fashion Business & Promotion graduate with aspirations to build a career within the buying or marketing sectors.
Whilst studying buying and merchandising in first year, an immediate attraction was apparent. During the module software skills were gained in Adobe Illustrator and Microsoft Excel. Alongside this, valuable knowledge into the operational processes of garment production, budgeting and costing, critical paths and phasing into stores was gained. Throughout the duration of the course key modules such as, trend forecasting and international retailing have strengthened commercial awareness and analytical thinking.
A highlight of second year was collaborating with Selfridges Birmingham on their live brief ‘Radical Luxury’, where a 6 month VM strategy was formed – Brutiful Reborn.
The concept challenged the modern perceptions of luxury and explored how the notion of luxury differs among us.
Taking inspiration from Birmingham's city landscape and rich history of brutalist architecture, the theme celebrated unconventional forms of luxury. Three local artists, each with their own signature look were given an exhibition space and concrete blocks. By collaborating with designer brand Ivanka Concrete, each artist created a bespoke piece of art - a clutch bag made from concrete. Their work and the bag were then showcased in the VM space as an exhibition, embodying the ultimate luxury - uniqueness.
Curiosity into the influence of politics and cultural values within the fashion sector sparked during the trends forecasting module in first year. The dissertation offered an opportunity to delve deeper into what is driving social movements and the effect this has on buying behaviour within the retail sector. After intensive primary and secondary research and analysis of trend reports, similarities between Generation Z and Generation X consumers were emerging. This posed the question, could these consumers be targeted based on their shared cultural and political views by retailers? And will this shape the future of marketing to families?
After cross-examining both generations, research exposed deep communicative, familial relationships. Both Gen Z parents and their Gen X offspring demonstrate an alarming distrust in government, and are actively seeking ways to create positive change within society. Research concluded that brands who target consumers based on values, rather than age will win traction. This will offer a new approach to family marketing, in opposition of traditional forms, based on the outdated perception that, all families embody the stereotype associated with the nuclear family.
Both my PR Internship at Needle and Thread and specific modules at university have driven me to gain an adoration for Digital Marketing and PR within the fashion industry, influencing my chosen career path within this sector. Throughout my time at university I have developed a range of skills and techniques that I can continue to utilize and develop throughout my career. Additionally to the knowledge I have learnt about the business of fashion at university, I also now have an in-depth understanding of Adobe software skills.
It is critical for future marketers to understand the innovative ways to directly connect with their targeted consumer and during my dissertation and Final Major Project I focused on this topic. Generation Z are soon to be the largest consumer group in the world and they are going to have the biggest influence on other generations therefore it important for marketers to understand how to connect with this generation through the rapid development of technology in AI, AR and VR as they are like no generation before.
Focusing around the importance of Marketing and PR within the fashion industry, for my Final Major Project I created a concept for a new social networking app enhancing the growth and importance of influencer marketing and the new development of S-commerce shopping. InfluenceMe is a downloadable app bringing all fashion and beauty bloggers from across all current platforms, such as YouTube and Instagram on to one. Designed to inspire and enhance an individual’s true style, using InfluenceMe’s unique filtering system, to find the perfect influencer, brand or product that the user is looking for has never been easier than before. Driven by a need for personalisation, using algorithms, InfluenceMe offers new suggestions of influencers; brands and products that reflect the individuals true taste encouraging the promotion of smaller influencer and brands to be discovered. A 12-month marketing strategy was produce and developed further by creating visual mock-ups within a marketing booklet using strategies to connect with InfluenceMe’s targeted consumer effectively.
VIDEO A – InfluenceMe App Demo
VIDEO B – Seletcion of InfluenceMe Marketing Materials
VIDEO C – InfluenceMe Business Plan
A recent graduate in BA(Hons) Fashion business and promotion from Birmingham city university. A experienced retail professional with 5 years’ experience including a main role as a retail store key holder gaining great management and leadership skills.
This collection of creative outcomes displayed just some of the work I created whilst at university including competition and dissertation and QR app mock-up. Each explore the research into toxic chemicals within beauty products and how brands mislead consumers with the way they advertise their products. I am passionate about this subject and it is a sector I would like to work within.
This module required me to undertake a comprehensive and independent study on a topic of my choice which explores the rise of the organic and natural personal care products industry. Research shows people are turning to organic products because of the harmful chemicals in non-organic personal hygiene products. Researcher investigates what chemicals are bad and the laws brands have to follow to sell their products and class them as organic. I applied research skills and developed ideas to initiate new innovations within my chosen filed.
This module helped design my entrepreneurial skills building on my ability to communicate a concept and justify my idea for my chosen market. I focused on looking at 3 key drivers, environmental degradation, health and wellbeing trend and conscious consumer. I used research collated to further support some of the threads that have been identified within my dissertation. I researched into the organic beauty and wellbeing market sector including costings, leading brands and market. Then consumer tribes all which was enough research to justify my recommendations.
Skills gained from these modules;
• Understanding the importance of research
• Deep analysis of competitors
• Deep market analysis
• Information about chemicals
"We never know the worth of water till the well is dry"
"Buy less, Choose well, Make it last"
I have recently finished studying a Fashion Business and Promotions degree at Birmingham City University; through my 3 years I have gained valuable presentation, teamwork and analytical skills as well as developing my creativity in Adobe software InDesign and Photoshop. My modules gave me a better understanding of the business side of the fashion industry as well as developing my knowledge of Marketing/PR, Events, Buying and Merchandising. My goal is to work within the marketing industry and be able to develop my current skills and knowledge further whilst offering my future employment my ideas and creativity.
CAN THE FAST FASHION INDUSTRY AND ITS CONSUMERS REDUCE THEIR WATER CONSUMPTION AND POLLUTION?
My dissertation was an investigation into water consumption within the fashion industry; I conducted primary research with fast fashion consumers and organised focus groups and questionnaires to get a better understanding of their awareness of the use of water within the fashion industry; this resulted in me concluding that consumers are largely unaware of how their treatment of clothes affects water supply and quality. I also researched current fashion brands attitude towards the amount of water they use and found there was little being done in the fast fashion industry to solve water consumption. Marketing was also an area I researched to discover how fashion brands can market sustainable issues to consumers without greenwashing and becoming “Preachy”. My recommendation at the end of my dissertation was for the trend of “Waterless Washing” to become a marketable product to consumers, not only for the water it saves, but for the convenience it offers the consumer. This then helped develop my idea for my Final major project.
My Final Major Project saw H&M launch a new laundry product range I named “Dry Cleaning”; the idea stemmed from an already existing product called Day 2 which enabled customers to wash their clothes less but also keep them fresh and crease free. As a fast fashion brand with a history of sustainable action plans, I thought H&M would be the right fashion brand to launch this product as the goal was to target fast fashion consumers and help make them aware of the effects of washing clothes so often. The marketing message was clear and simple “Wash less, Save More”; this message meant that by washing clothes less, they would in turn last longer which would then be rewarded by H&M when recycling in store.
A graduate in BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion
The community of Pre-loved is a culture community built up to encourage Chinese young consumers, the late millennia’s, to embrace the culture of secondhand luxury consumption.
Asian consumers have shunned second-hand goods because of hygiene, lack of inspiration and superstition. These ideas are shifting among a new generation, especially those who study abroad and travel frequently. The concept of sharing and renting has also seeped into Asian cultures, such as Airbnb, which is popular around the world.
Chinese consumers are also aware of the growing demand for second-hand luxury goods and the mobility of items in their closets. The topic of fashion waste and sustainable development is becoming a hot topic, prompting consumers to be more responsible shopping, and not just buy products with inconsistent prices and quality to satisfy their vanity.
The community of pre-loved will offer overseas businesses a chance to promote their culture of secondhand luxury to the market of china，through online social media platform including RED, WEIBO, WECHAT and Websites, while holding pop up stores in the second tier cities in China to increase the exposure of secondhand luxury culture, with features inside the store such as showcasing the how-to of authenticating secondhand luxury products. The difference between The community of Pre-loved and the other secondhand businesses is that the community operates as a third party organization on only promoting the secondhand luxury culture but not exactly selling any secondhand luxury items. This make the organization possible to form a commercial partnership with high quality secondhand luxury brands like Vestiaire Collective from overseas, helping such brand to expand the market in China while profiting from the commission fees. The Community of Pre-loved aim to develop a community to breach the gap of the lack, get more consumers to embrace the culture of secondhand luxury, and through online exposure in the social media like WEIBO and WECHAT, as well as offline presence such as the pop up stores, the community can create value for secondhand luxury retailing businesses overseas that want to reach Chinese consumers.
In addition, in order to gain the trust of consumers, Pre-loved adopts advanced block chain technology to encode each luxury product in the identification of luxury products, so as to facilitate customers to check the authenticity of luxury products.
“An innovative movement obtaining to enlighten the significance of social wellbeing”
A recent graduate in BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion, I have acquired significant knowledge and a variety of skills which supports opportunity for myself to apply within various career sectors, with particular focus upon a fashion buying occupation within the mid-market sector. A desire and interest for consumer behaviour articulated from my studies at university, with specific exploration into both buying and merchandising plus trend forecasting modules, contributing towards my eagerness to provide consumers with ranges they desire. My enthusiasm for consumer behavioural trends has tailored my final year outcomes, where significant research provided me with an inviable insight into the future of consumerism, enabling production of a justified and professional outcome for industry.
Extensive dissertation research was initially undertaken around the continuously changing demand of what consumerism means today and in the future, with particular exploration into Pine and Gilmore’s economic value theory highlighting the current and future global economic progression of experiences towards transformations. The research titled “How can the rise of the transformation economy be adapted within fashion retailer’s strategies to improve the way experiences are delivered to millennials” emerged suggestive findings, utilising primary and secondary resources, that the pace of the economy is initiated by early adopters, millennials, who seek to obtain experiences that offer self-actualisation.
Whilst the study concluded that emerging key markets including health and wellness plus education obtain improvement in wellbeing and personal growth, it is suggested that full evolution from experience to transformation will not occur until all business obtain to offer such experiences, including the fashion industry.
With reference towards the evolving transformation economy, exploration into current key drivers around scientific memories, wellbeing and emotion provided insight into the detrimental statistics surrounding university loneliness and the deficit of transformative experiences available to recover health, reminiscences and happiness. Present insufficiency of resources defined creation of a new innovative partnership with UK Universities entitled Peachy. The concept which proposes a new movement to enlighten a greater socially connected society utilises online and offline methods to ignite conversation, positive memories and wellbeing empowering connection, equality and health.
Evident through inviable primary and secondary research, Peachy proposes university women an opportunity to be a part of an exclusive safe space built upon attentiveness of the consumers offering the UK’s first university women exclusive connectivity app plus the opportunity to participate within events that seek to improve mental and physical health. The service provided encourages a new movement in enlightening the significance of social wellbeing to all individuals, with the aim to offer, support and aid university life.
A business plan, app with app user guide additionally to an event pack aided through visualisations created utilising SketchUp was obtained to portray the new business idea.
A fresh graduate whom studied BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion, aspiring to a Buying career within the fashion industry. This aspiration originates from a personal passion after studying in my first year at University, the Buying and Merchandising module. My devoted passion for this industry has been clarified throughout my studies at university, where I have gained knowledge and understanding through my work experience, my role for the 2 weeks was a Visual Merchandiser with little insight of a Buying role which then made clear what I want to do after my studies.
Final Major Project
This project is intended to give an update of progress so far in relation to body shaming through men and women.
It will show what has been done to move the issue forward and the actions and strategies used to fit with the plan. SwimCurvy sells what is arguably the most fashion focused swimwear with relatable plus-sized consumers modelling the collections giving them a chance to feel comfortable in their own skin. SwimCurvy is a body-positive movement which allows plus-sized women and men to feel as trendy and fashionable as the straight-sized consumer on vacations.
SwimCurvy starts their own trends as well as keeping up to date with the norm. The SwimCurvy tribe are well aware the issue of body shaming has grown to be an international problem and it feels like inspiring body positivity is everywhere these days but there is still a long way to go.
Lucky for you and thousands of other consumers around the world there is SwimCurvy. Swimcury is a great hosted ecommerce website and app that empowers the larger sizes but most importantly people who are affected by body shaming.
SwimCurvy is easy to use, hassle-free, easy to manage and an customizable online website/app with an secure checkout. It gives you control over your look and feel, it allows you to add products, manage your inventory and more. They focus on maximising SwimCurvy’s features to help drive customers
revenue and improve their customer experience.
The App will include powerful search and categorization so customers can easily and quickly find exactly what they are looking for. SwimCurvy use best practices so that product pages convert users to add more items to their shopping basket, It will guide shoppers down the conversion funnel to complete the checkout process. With this solution SwimCurvy aim to grow monthly sales by 40% by the end of the first few years.